FCSO Detective Stops Drunk Wrong-Way Driver on US-1

2023 133 FCSO Detective Stops Drunk Wrong Way Driver on US 1 1 copy

On Monday, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Master Detective Daniel Malta used his vehicle risking his life to stop a drunk driver driving the wrong way on US-1 in Bunnell to potentially save the lives of other drivers. No injuries were sustained by either party involved. Master Detective Malta used his vehicle to stop Timothy Toporek, a drunk driver going the wrong way on US-1. At approximately 12:58pm, MD Malta was conducting a traffic stop on another driver when he witnessed a Chevrolet Equinox traveling Northbound in the Southbound left lane of US-1. MD Malta quickly ended his initial traffic stop to intercept the wrong-way driver, who was later identified as Timothy Toporek, 57. MD Malta initially followed behind the wrong-way driver with his lights and sirens activated, but Toporek did not take any corrective action or stop.

To prevent a high-speed head-on collision with other drivers on the road, MD Malta overtook Toporek’s vehicle and veered his unmarked patrol car into the path of the wrong-way driver. Toporek struck the rear passenger side of MD Malta’s vehicle, but still did not stop. MD Malta then used his front fender to push Toporek’s vehicle into the median. The impact rendered Toporek’s vehicle inoperable and he was forced to stop. Deputies on the scene observed Toporek being unsteady on his feet, slurring his speech, and emanating a strong odor of alcohol. Traffic Enforcement Unit Deputy Ray placed Toporek under arrest for Fleeing & Eluding, Reckless Driving, and D.U.I. Toporek refused to provide a sample of his breath. Previously, Toporek was arrested for alcohol-related offenses.

In 2015, he was arrested Disorderly Intoxication – Alcohol. “His reckless behavior could have hurt innocent drivers on the road, not to mention one of our Deputy’s,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “I commend Master Detective Malta for making the right decision in a split second to stop this driver before he could hurt an innocent driver. Detective Malta did not hesitate to put his own life at risk to save others because an impaired driver made a stupid decision to drive drunk.” Timothy Toporek during booking.

Click here to watch video of Toporek’s arrest.

By Kim Hunt

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